This bike is my pick for the one bike i’d take to a deserted island, or if i only had ONE choice out of all my bikes. I’d probably actually make it a 1×9 or singlespeed and take that since I’d probably have no tools on said island. But then again, with the cable-disc brakes, square taper BB and Sugino 3 ring crankset and Dura-Ace rear derailleur, this bike could last awhile with pretty much no service. Bring an extra set of brake pads, a tube or two and a patch kit, and some lube and you’re all set. You could ride for decades on this bike around the island and then when you finally get found and returned to the mainland 20 years later, you’d have a bike that is still cool. This kind of bike is timeless. With all the suspension bikes changing each year, this bike is not much different than the original ‘All-Rounder’ of 20 years ago. It rides singletrack, dirt roads, paved road, and whatever you throw at it very well. It makes the rider ride the bike well to handle whatever terrain you’re on…not the other way around.
For those that care about the specs:
2.0″ (52mm) Bontrager tubeless tires on Stans Arch 29er wheelset, Avid BB7 brakes, Cane Creek brake levers, Salsa Woodchipper bars attached to a Profile 25deg rise 110mm stem, Brooks B-17 saddle, Sugino 3-ring (24/34/44) crankset, and a 9-speed Shimano barcon shifters with Dura-Ace rear der and cassette. The frame is a 56cm seat tube length, 59.6cm top tube, 71.5/72degree HT/ST angles, 167mm head tube, and 430mm chainstays. The fork is 420mm axle to crown (heh), 44mm offset, resulting in 74mm of trail (a lot for a cross bike but on the low end for a MTB). I’m keeping an eye on this fork though, with the bent narrow legs, and a disc mount…it’s longevity is questionable. It’s been done by others and worked, but it’s also been done by others and failed. The bent Willits/Paragon ISO disc mount worked well, but the legs just seem very flexy for riding seriously off-road.
I’d like to find another way to run the bars high, rather than putting on that many headset spacers. Next time i’ll either buy a LD stem from Clockwork Bikes, or make the headtube longer above the top tube to just use fewer spacers.